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"A penny for your thoughts"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Singapore Ultra-Fast Broadband Bid

Singapore going for ultra-fast cyber highway. Rival StarHub said it was joining a consortium made up of M1 and Hong Kong's City Telecom (CTI) to bid for part of the project to be ready islandwide by 2015. The network, dubbed the Next-Generation National Broadband Network, will let users surf at speeds at least 10 times faster than now.

Experts tip SingTel as the front runner in this, because it already has much of the island hooked up with existing underground fibre optic cables and can complete the job quickly. But market watchers note that the balance may now swing slightly in favour of the rival group of local heavy-hitters StarHub and M1 and experienced Hong Kong player CTI.

There are now nine groups in the running, including notables such as Britain's BT.

The winner will be unveiled in the third quarter of this year. A second tender will then be called for the operation of the telecom equipment in the network.

This separation is meant to prevent one telco from dominating the scene, the Government said. It is giving out up to $750 million to help firms build the network.

In doing so, it believes more small firms can offer online services without being bogged down by the cost of building the network.


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